Thursday, July 31, 2014

Black Bottom Raspberry Cream Pie

Tomorrow is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day, but I thought I'd get a jump on the holiday! What's a raspberry cream pie without chocolate? So for this recipe, the cream portion of the pie is Chocolate Pudding!

This recipe is from Bon Appetit (July 2004) aka Epicurious for Black Bottom Raspberry Cream Pie. The "black bottom" is a layer of chocolate pudding.. and as a bonus there's a chocolate cookie crust. I'm all about chocolate. Be sure and chill the pie overnight before adding the topping.

As far as berries go, any great organic raspberry works. I love Driscoll's raspberries because they're always good. This is raspberry season, so pick up a few pints today and make this incredible pie to celebrate. No time to make this delicious pie? Dance the Black Bottom! See video below.

FYI: This recipe is also a great black bottom 'anything' recipe: bananas and other fruit go very well with it, too.

Black Bottom Raspberry Cream Pie 

Crust
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 3/4 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies (about 30 cookies from one 9-ounce package)
1/2 cup sweet butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp sweet butter

Topping
3 1/2-pint containers raspberries
1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For crust:
Spray 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. 
Blend cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar in medium bowl. 
Press mixture evenly over bottom and up sides (not on rim) of prepared dish.
Chill crust 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust until set, about 10 minutes, then cool.

For filling:
Combine sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan; whisk to blend well. 
Gradually add 1/4 cup milk, whisking until cornstarch dissolves. 
Whisk in remaining 2 1/4 cups milk, then egg yolks and egg. 
Stir over medium-high heat until pudding thickens and boils, about 8 minutes. 
Remove from heat. 
Add chocolate and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. 
Spread pudding in prepared crust. Press plastic wrap onto pudding to cover and chill pie overnight.

For topping:
Peel plastic wrap off pie. 
Cover chocolate layer with raspberries, pointed side up, pressing lightly into chocolate to adhere (some berries will be left over). 
Beat cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl until peaks form; spread over berries on pie. 
Arrange remaining berries atop cream. 
Chill pie at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

And, the dance sensation that started it all: The Black Bottom.  In this video, the Varsity Drag title is in error. The Black Bottom replaced "The Charleston" as the next most popular dance of the 1920's. Released June 28, 1926. Written by Buddy De Sylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson.  Black bottom dancing was for the young and energetic. This song and style of dancing were popular in the1920's.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

MEYER LEMON CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CRUST

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust! This is one of my favorite recipes, and how perfect for National Cheesecake Day! I have three Meyer lemon trees in my garden, and they're all workhorses, producing lemons all year round. Meyer lemons have a unique tangy/sweet lemon flavor. I use them in just about everything, from salads to fish to the secret ingredient in chocolate chip cookies! Of course, if you don't have Meyer lemons, other lemons will do.

The recipe for the Cheesecake is adapted from Epicurious. I've changed it up in several ways, using Meyer lemons and making a Chocolate Crust. No big surprise there! This cheesecake is great just about any time!

MEYER LEMON CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CRUST

Chocolate Cookie Crust
2 cups chocolate wafer cookies (grind in food processor)
6 Tbsp butter, melted
Filling
5 8-ounce packages (Philadelphia brand) cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
7 large eggs
3 cups (24 ounces) sour cream
2 Tbsp (packed) finely grated Meyer lemon peel
2 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice

Directions

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir cookie crumbs and butter in medium bowl until evenly moistened.
Press mixture onto bottom of 9-inch-diameter removable-bottom cheesecake pan with 
3-inch-high sides.
Bake crust about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Stack 3 large  sheets of foil on work surface. Put cheescake pan in center. Gather foil around pan bottom and up sides (to waterproof it)

For filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar, then salt. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in sour cream, grated lemon peel, and lemon juice. Pour filling into cheese cake pan.
Place wrapped cake pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake cake until filling is slightly puffed and moves only slightly when pan is shaken gently, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Remove cake pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cake in pan on rack 2 hours. Chill uncovered until cold; cover and keep chilled at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
Cut around pan sides; carefully loosen pan bottom from sides and push up pan bottom to release cake. Place cake (still on pan bottom) on platter.

Tip:
The pan: It must be three inches high to hold all the filling. If your nine-inch springform pan is that high, it can be used instead.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chocolate Margarita Recipes

Yesterday was my friend Ingrid's birthday. She's a huge fan of Margaritas, so in her honor, I thought I'd post two recipes for Chocolate Margaritas. As always use the best ingredients for the best flavor! Both recipes suggest chocolate rims. How about adding a little salt to the rim mixture? Salt will bring out the chocolate and make this a bit more similar (ok, not all that similar) to a traditional margarita.

I. CHOCOLATE MARGARITA
A simple recipe from Blenderking.com:  (Per serving)

Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces Tequila
1 ounce Godiva liquor
3/4 ounce cream or half & half
1 Tbsp Hershey’s syrup
2 ounces orange juice
Ice

Directions
Shaker, not blender: Throw the ingredients into your shaker for a few quick shakes and pour into a margarita glass with crushed oreos lining the rim! Enjoy!

II. CHOCOLATE MARGARITA
And, from Marcela Valladolid at Foodnetwork.com. This recipe is for a crowd:

To rim the glasses:
Chocolate syrup
Finely chopped Mexican or bittersweet chocolate

Margarita:
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 cup (8 ounces) tequila
1/2 cup (4 ounces) chocolate liqueur
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup orange liqueur
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ice

Directions

To rim the glasses: Put the syrup and chopped chocolate into 2 small dishes. Moisten the rims of 4 margarita or martini glasses with the chocolate syrup. Dip them in the Mexican chocolate until coated. Set aside.

Margarita: Combine all of the ingredients, except ice, in a pitcher. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a shaker full of ice. Shake and pour into the prepared glasses. Serve cold.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, INGRID!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Milk Chocolate Truffles: Milk Chocolate Day!

Photo: Ghirardelli Chocolate!
Today is National Milk Chocolate Day. If you've been reading my blog, you know I'm more of a dark chocolate fan, but I have to be fair to those lovers of Milk Chocolate, especially today!

I love this easy truffle recipe from Ghirardelli Chocolate. Ghirardelli makes a great Luxe Milk Chocolate bar. As always, use what you have or like!

MILK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES


Ingredients
1 pound Milk Chocolate, chopped (I use Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Chocolate)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp sweet butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder -Ghirardelli (or chopped nuts)

Directions
Melt milk chocolate, heavy cream and butter in top of double boiler or in saucepan over another saucepan over simmering water. As soon as mixture is smooth, remove from heat and transfer into bowl or baking dish. Cover chocolate mixture with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator up to 2 hours.
Spread cocoa powder (or chopped nuts) in shallow plate.
Using melonballer, scoop chocolate and roll into balls between your hands. Then roll ball of chocolate in cocoa (or chopped nuts) until well coated. Place truffles on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until you finish making all truffles. Allow truffles to set for about an hour.
Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Truffles are best served at room temperature.